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Review / ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ (PG) ***

THREE years after delighting audiences with observations of a group of ageing Brit expats whose lives have followed varying paths, writer Ol Parker and director John Madden revisit them still living in the Indian hotel owned by Sunny (Dev Patel) whose business skills don’t match his ambition. This time he’s in California seeking financing to […]

Review / ‘Project Almanac’ (M) **

IN this debut feature by director Dean Israelite and writer Andrew Deutschman, five Georgia high-school kids led by David (Jonny Weston) playing around with stuff like mobile phones, camcorders, rechargeable batteries and various chemicals, crack the technical problems that hitherto have confounded hopeful time travellers. That’s a fair-enough premise for a lightweight movie about an […]

Review / ‘Rosewater’ (M) *** and a half

AMERICAN TV talk-show anchorman and comedian Jon Stewart has gone upscale to write and direct a challenging feature film based on real events. The smell of rosewater combined with human sweat pervades Iranian mosques. Most of the film unfolds in Evin prison where Javadi (Kim Bodnia) interrogated Iranian/Canadian TV journalist Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) […]

shades

Review / ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (MA) * and a half

DRIVING this film is volume one in E L James’s best-selling fictional trilogy peeking behind the curtains of BDSM, a sexual behaviour that few but its practitioners would really understand. Some might call it a perversion. A more libertarian view is that how consenting (and therefore presumably informed) adults get their erotic kicks is nobody […]

interview

Review / ‘The Interview’ (MA) ** and a half

THIS Hollywood comedy caused a minor brouhaha when North Korea accused the Berlin Film Festival of instigating terrorism by screening it. Others including Barack Obama saw the accusation an attack on freedom of speech. Having seen it, I wonder why the Festival selected a mainstream Hollywood comedy short on redeeming features, silly rather than stupid […]

holidays

Review / ‘What We Did on Our Holiday’ (PG) *** and a half

FROM from co-writers and directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin (who also did TV’s “Drop The Dead Donkey”) comes this most agreeable, credible, sweet, intelligent family comedy. Abi (Rosamund Pike) and Doug (David Tennant) have both been playing away. Until the divorce is heard, they’re keeping up appearances of solidarity, telling their children Lottie (Amelia […]

Review / ‘Selma’ (M)  **** and a half

NEGOTIATION. Demonstration. Resistance. The three tactical pillars of the 1965 campaign led by Martin Luther King Jun. that pressured Lyndon Baines Johnson into driving the Voting Rights Act through the US Congress. Paul Kelly’s screenplay for Ava DuVernay’s film tells that story with passion and deep commitment to verity. If you want to know the […]